FRIDAY 11TH DEC 7.30PM
Under the Skin is a 2013 science fiction-horror art film directed by Jonathan Glazer, and written by Glazer and Walter Campbell as a loose adaptation of Michel Faber's 2000 novel of the same name. It was released in the UK on 14 March 2014 and the US on 4 April. The film stars Scarlett Johansson as an otherworldly seductress who preys on men in Scotland. The music was composed by Mica Levi.
Glazer developed Under the Skin for more than a decade, eventually settling on a film that takes an alien perspective of the human world. Most of the characters were played by non-actors, including road racer Jeremy McWilliams; many scenes were unscripted conversations filmed with hidden cameras on the street. It competed for the Golden Lion at the 70th Venice International Film Festival.
SATURDAY 12TH DEC 7.30PM
Scotland’s own Robert Carlyle makes his directorial debut with this delightful jet-black comedy about a downtrodden barber whose mundane life is turned upside down when he accidentally turns killer. Carlyle also plays the lead role as mild-mannered Barney Thomson, an old- fashioned barber who is slipping down the pecking order in the Glasgow barber shop where he works. After an accidental killing, he turns to his hilariously fierce mother (a quite wonderful Emma Thompson) for help.
Based on a novel by Douglas Lindsay – the first of seven books about Barney Thomson – the film was shot in Glasgow, with the city a vibrant and vital backdrop to the hilariously black story. Locations include the East End (where the barber shop is located), Shawfield dog track and the Barrowlands, which doubles as the bingo hall where Barney’s controlling mother Cemolina spends quality time. Emma Thompson is a revelation as the mother, complete with Glaswegian accent and a serious amount of make-up to help transform her into a truly memorable character.
THURSDAY 17TH DEC 7.30PM
Bertrand Tavernier, one of the finest, most versatile film-makers at work today as well as a generous critic and astute film historian, has never received the recognition he deserves in this country. Premiered in France in 1979, his thoughtful, humanistic SF fable Death Watch (aka La mort en direct), a Franco-German production made in English, took two years to cross the Channel, received a patronising reception here and rapidly disappeared. It is an exceptional film that makes imaginative use of Scottish locations (both the austerely beautiful Highlands and the run-down grandeur of Glasgow) to tell the still urgent story of a group of people involved in a voyeuristic TV programme set in what was then a few years in the future.
Harvey Keitel gives a characteristically intense performance as a journalist whose Faustian compact with his technocrat bosses becomes complete when a device is built into his brain to serve Harry Dean Stanton's TV station. He's literally become a camera, so he can follow the terminally ill Romy Schneider for a 24-hours-a-day reality programme. Her final hours are transmitted to a society where death has been largely obliterated, but poverty and suffering remain. It's an exciting tale about self-respect and personal autonomy in a society where privacy and personal identity are being steadily eroded and it's as topical today as when it was made.
SAT 19TH DEC 11.30AM
From the creators of the Academy Award®-nominated "The Secret of Kells" comes a breathtakingly gorgeous, hand-drawn masterpiece. Based on the Irish legend of the Selkies, "Song of the Sea" tells the story of the last seal-child, Saoirse, and her brother Ben, who go on an epic journey to save the world of magic and discover the secrets of their past. Pursued by the owl witch, Macha, and a host of ancient and mystical creatures, Saoirse and Ben race against time to awaken Saoirse’s powers and keep the spirit world from disappearing forever. As enthralling for adults as for children young and old, "Song of the Sea" is a wonder of magical storytelling and visual splendor that is destined to become a classic.
"Song of the Sea" features the voices of Brendan Gleeson, Fionnula Flanagan, David Rawle, Lisa Hannigan, Pat Shortt and Jon Kenny. Music is by composer Bruno Coulais and Irish band Kíla, both of whom previously collaborated on "The Secret of Kells."